That time we took a legendary basketball player paddling

If you are a fan of the San Antonio Spurs you are going to love this week's Board Story. A couple weeks ago I got to take THE Bruce Bowen out on his birthday to paddle board for his first time ever. 


If you aren't familiar with Bruce Bowen, he's an NBA legend. Having won 3 NBA championships, he has been called one of the greatest defenders to play the game. As I learned from our time paddle boarding in Austin, he's also genuinely nice, very funny and a super committed parent. So how did he do paddle boarding?  

Bruce Bowen

At 6'8 and not having a background playing outdoors, he was a little nervous to say the least. After a quick one minute lesson on the basics, and a couple of pep talks, Bruce was ready to give it a try. Like most new paddlers, he smartly started paddling on his knees keeping his center of gravity low until his confidence increased.

Of course, that didn’t last long though. He had to prove to all of you that voted that he would fall that he was a paddle boarding pro. Soon enough, Bruce was on his feet and paddling away. 

PaddleBoarding in Austin TX


By the end of the day, you would have thought he had been paddle boarding for years! He was still a little nervous, but his endless amount of jokes and laughter would have told you differently. 


We had to end his birthday the right way with a round of beers to go around. Bruce, it was an honor and pleasure to be a part of your birthday celebration. You’re on your way to becoming a paddle boarding legend! 

Paddle Boarding with Bruce Bowen

The Story Behind Our Leather Straps

Some of my favorite features of our wood paddle boards, are the fine details that make our paddle boards so unique and the stories that go along with them. We are big about stories at Jarvis Boards. Not only do each one of us have a unique story, and each one of our customers has a unique story, but many of our suppliers also have their own story to accompany them. I think this is what makes Jarvis Boards so special. So today, I’m going to tell you the story behind the leather straps on each of our paddle boards — a feature that customers are continuously in awe of. 


As I’ve mentioned before, Jarvis Boards began when I decided to quit my day job and follow my passion for craftsmanship. This was a risky decision, but it has also been one of the best life decisions I have ever made. The early days of crafting our wooden SUPs consisted of long hours inside of a tiny little garage in Austin with a small budget, and not a lot of help. I didn’t want our boards to look like all of the other paddle boards out there, I wanted them to be hand-crafted works of art that people not only loved to use, but that they were proud to look at. This is why I decided to add a leather carrying strap to them, because how much more detailed, authentic, and raw can you get than a nice crafted piece of handcrafted leather? So I set out on a mission to find someone that could supply us with these leather straps. 

With our small budget, we didn’t really have the money to do a bulk order. I just needed about 20 leather straps to get me started. One call led to another, which led to another laugh from suppliers. They thought I was crazy for trying to order such a small number. Well, here at Jarvis Boards, we don’t take no for an answer. After about a million no’s, I found our hidden gem — a small family business in North Austin known as Savilino. 

The folks at Savilino saw potential in our wood paddle boards and they took a chance on us. The detail they put into these leather straps is remarkable, and it kind of makes me thankful that all those other companies told me no. To keep the handles from stretching out, Savilino reinforces the two pieces of leather with a nylon strap before they are finally outfitted with stainless hardware. After a couple of uses, your leather strap will begin to take on the character of a nice worn pair of leather boots. An icon of true craftsmanship. 

Mass produced goods are far too common today, and we wanted to stand out from that with our wood paddle boards. We are a small business and we love to partner with other local small businesses. To this day our leather handles on our paddle boards are still stitched and crafted by the same talented craftspeople that saw potential in us in 2012 and we couldn’t be more proud to work with them. 

Born in Austin, Crafted in Austin, and we support Austin businesses. 




Dam that Cancer x Jarvis Boards

Want to win a custom wood wakesurf board? 

Jarvis Boards has handcrafted and donated two custom wood wakesurf boards to an amazing local charity, Flatwater Foundation. If you haven't heard of them, Flatwater Foundation is dedicated to providing those diagnosed with cancer, their families and loved ones access to mental health therapy and family support.

To help their effort, they put on a 21-mile paddleboard fundraiser named Dam That Cancer every year, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist those affected by cancer diagnosis. Jarvis Boards couldn't be more proud to be a part of this effort with our donation of two wood wakesurf boards. 

Flatwater Foundation will be raffling off these two boards live on June 25th. You don't have to be present, or even in Austin to win! 

There are three ways to enter. 

1. Purchase a 10 dollar raffle ticket directly from Jarvis Boards

2. Stop by either Blenders and Bowls or Tyler's Westlake to purchase a raffle ticket

3. Come party with us on June 25th and purchase raffle tickets in person. 

However you enter, 100% of proceeds benefit Flatwater Foundation and the amazing work that they do for those effected by cancer diagnosis.

Tylers Dam that Cancer-5.jpg

The raffle may be over but its not too late to support the amazing work that the Flatwater Foundation is doing. 

From one Father to Another

Free Customization

A gift from one father to another

I’m the proud father of an energetic 4 year old named Adam. Being a small business owner, it isn’t always easy to find ways to spend quality time together. Enter paddle boarding: since Adam was about 2 we’ve been paddling together. I get my workouts in and he has fun telling me to paddle faster as he's counting the turtles and fish that go by. 

The time on the water has been so impactful to the both of us that this Father’s Day, I personally want to hook all of the fathers (and father figures) out their up. 

Now through Father’s Day, order any board, including our all new wake surfs, and we will pesonalize it for free. He can choose the graphics/text that he wants on his new board. We will also send him a personalized Jarvis Boards tumbler to open on the big day.


By Jarvis Boards Founder: Tony Smith

Order a custom board today and enter the coupon code below to receive free customization. 

Coupon Code: Father's Day

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